A fresh and intuitive approach to capturing primary pupils’ learning experiences.

Our simple-to-use tablet app is designed for early years practitioners, primary school teachers and TAs to ensure the easiest and most flexible approach to capturing observations in the classroom. Record assessments from the in-built list of assessment points, identify child-initiated activities, capture photos to support evidence – and so much more.

All classroom assessments can be moderated post-lesson from the ReallySchool Windows console, additional notes can be added and then, where appropriate, shared instantly with parents or carers. ReallySchool also generates beautiful journals and reports to ensure everyone can see who is on track, emerging or secure on any topic – and much, much more.

Key features include:

  • Add or capture photos
  • Access current assessment criteria
  • Add extra assessment criteria on the fly
  • One click for a detailed student view 
  • View a range of class reports
  • See pupils’ progress in timelines
  • Add audio and video notes
  • Create student journals
  • Share achievements and progress with parents
  • Celebrate student success
  • Add comments to observations
  • And more!

Watch our short summary video

Save time 

ReallySchool effectively eliminates the time-consuming task of taking photos of learning, printing them off, sorting them out, sticking them into each pupil’s achievement book and then supplementing these with handwritten notes. 

Plus, teachers and TAs can add or remove pupils from groups on the fly – and even change the criteria mid-assessment if they have noticed a pupil has done something additional to the current topic. 

Easy to use 

Simple and intuitive enough to enable teachers to use it quickly and without training, ReallySchool stands apart from other solutions due to its flexibility. Teachers and TAs can capture photos and videos direct from their device or add existing ones to a child’s record. They can add written or voice notes to observations as they occur, as well as see progress timelines. Plus, they can share student achievements and progress with parents – all in a single click.

Supporting assessments 

Current criteria and frameworks for EYFS, KS1, Foundation Phase and KS2 are already built into ReallySchool for convenience for teachers to assess against. Additional frameworks are also included such as PScales, CoEL, ECaT and EYDJ.

Teachers can also add extra assessment criteria, record whether it was child-initiated and include students from other classes for group work – all on the fly.

What they say about us...

Lincolnshire Technology and Innovation Awards

Last night, four lucky members of our team glammed up and headed to the Lincolnshire Technology and Innovation Awards.

The event was held on Thursday 13th June at the Lincolnshire Showground.  It was amazing to see such great local talent, and it must have been a tough competition to judge with such high quality entries. We really enjoyed the evening and were pleasantly surprised to find a mystery box on our table, which was full of delicious goodies including a personalised tin of chocolates.

ReallySchool was nominated for the ‘Tech Product of the Year’ and we had all our fingers and toes crossed.

Although we didn’t win, we had a great night and our really proud of our local recognition for a product our amazing team work so hard on.  Already this year, we have been lucky enough to be highly commended  in the ERA awards, and a finalist in both the Bett and ITEuropa awards. We hope to continue to dazzle as the year goes on.

Beginner tech for tech-shy teachers

Guest author: Mark Anderson, ICT Evangelist

 

I consider myself fortunate to have had the route into teaching that I did. I completed a BEd (Hons) in Business Studies and Economics at University. Given the trend at the time to often combine Office Studies as a subject with Business Studies, we often saw Business teachers teaching students how to use productivity and office focused software tools. This transferred to there being units on my degree which had a focus on how to use the software for Business but also how it could be used to support learning.

 

Things have certainly moved on since those times in the mid 90’s. There are many ways in which technology can support the roles of teachers. From taking the register, to helping you record your observations, to improving accessibility to marking tests for you, there’s lots you can do and it’s difficult to know where to start. In this short article I’m going to share five ways that technology can help you in a number of different ways as a primary school teacher.

 

Assessing learning

As many teachers have access to either a phone or a tablet in the classroom, a great simple tool to use to quickly gauge students’ understanding is the brilliant (and free) Plickers. There are a number of key steps you need to take to get Plickers to work, but essentially you only need your tablet or phone and a computer projecting a webpage in your classroom to get this great tool to work. Visit plickers.com and download a set of class Plickers (QR) codes and get started. You can find full instructions on how to use this simple and free, low stakes quizzing tool in their Getting Started Guide here: http://bit.ly/plickersguide

 

Discussing learning

Often, discussion around learning can have great impacts on developing specific key vocabulary and securing more difficult-to-understand concepts. Peer assessment in an open and discursive way is great for this. The fantastic Flipgrid is a great tool which promotes all of this and student oracy too. It’s a free social learning platform that allows educators to ask a question, then the students respond in a video. Students are then able to respond to one another, creating a “web” of discussion. You can engage with Flipgrid on any internet-enabled device, either through your browser or the Flipgrid app. When you set one up, you’ll be given a Flip Code; simply share this with your class and away you go!

The benefits of this over simply asking the question in class is that it gives all your learners a voice. It gives everyone the opportunity to feed forward and it allows learners to share in a way which means they can do so in a manner less confrontational than speaking in front of their entire class. Users of Flipgrid are exceedingly vocal about their love for the platform. Check out Tweets using the hashtag #FlipgridFever for some great examples!

 

Sharing learning

 

Oracy is really important as a tool for sharing student voice, showing knowledge and understanding, and for developing literacy. A great app that is available on iOS for this is Apple Clips. Clips is a fantastic tool which can be used to explain all sorts of things. I have a little playlist with some examples on my YouTube channel on how it can be used both by learners and by teachers – or check Twitter using the hashtag #ClassroomClips. It’s amazing how creative and inspiring teachers and learners can be! Note, this app only works on iPhones or iPads.

 

Recording learning

 

A key aspect of the role of a teacher is to record the learning that is taking place in front of them. Having access to mobile technology, often with a camera and microphone built in, has proven to be really useful at helping teachers with their roles in the classroom when it comes to recording learning. A great tool to bring all of this together for the teacher is the BETT Awards finalist 2019, ‘ReallySchool’. ReallySchool is a free Android or iOS app which allows you to capture and record assessments in your classroom. You can use the built-in list of assessment points, identify child-initiated activities, capture photos to support evidence, apply the same choices to multiple pupils to avoid repetition, share all this with parents ­– and much more besides! Find out more about how ReallySchool could help you by visiting the website: https://reallyschool.com

 

Engaging learning

 

Working with young people, it’s often the case that they need some excitement about a topic in order to get them interested. One way in which you can engage learners is through the use of Augmented and Virtual Reality. Studying a topic around Ancient Egypt? Why not have a look at the BBC’s Civilisations AR app and explore a Mummy in Augmented Reality. Learning about Mosques? Then why not visit some of the world’s most amazing Mosques in Virtual Reality using Google’s free ‘Expeditions’ app. Wanting your youngest learners to explore emotions? Then why not use the AR emojis in Figment AR where they can record their own videos interacting with the AR characters to help them discuss those emotions.

 

I hope you find these different simple tools effective additions to your teaching and learning toolkit. For more ideas, inspiration or if you’d like to work with me, please visit ictevangelist.com

Tips for surviving and thriving this summer

It’s June which means we are officially in the last half term of the academic year. Teachers can be heard counting down the weeks and days until the summer break as they frantically work on report writing, collecting final evidence for data deadlines and moderation, supporting pupil transition, preparing for end of year special events and much more.

With so much going on it can be difficult to make the most of the time left with your class and enjoy the last few weeks. It’s all too easy to keep looking ahead, until you reach the last day and become an emotional wreck when it finally hits that this is your last day with your class. It could also be your last day within your school or teaching altogether, so there is a lot on your mind.

Because there is so much happening, your pupils seem to forget how to complete basic skills that they had previously mastered, their tears and tantrums may increase along with lack of concentration and any ability to focus on anything other than how hot (or not) it is, how many days of school are left and how things will change next year.

For some pupils this time of year is really exciting. They look forward to time off school and new beginnings. For others it’s really overwhelming. They know that the end of the year means a new one will begin, and that means change is afoot.

Unfortunately, for some pupils, school is the only place they feel safe or comfortable, so six weeks off for them can feel like an eternity.  We also have those pupils at the start of each year academic year who ‘can’t remember’ anything that they did in the summer holidays because actually they didn’t have opportunities to go see family and friends, spend time outdoors or go on holidays like their peers did. The holidays can be a very isolating time for some of our pupils and that’s something that can easily be forgotten, particularly when pupils are asked to talk or write about their summer holidays.

To help you make the most of the last half term and to support your pupils during a time of change,  here are some top tips to help you not only survive but thrive.

  • Outdoor learning

Make the most of the weather by introducing more outdoor learning opportunities. At this time of the year, lots of your pupils will be eager to get out in the sunshine so why not use that to your advantage? I’ve always loved an outdoor reading workshop. Guided reading under a nice shady tree just feels so peaceful.

  • Explore change and transition

Make time to cover this. Don’t just rely on your school’s set transition activities. Have some talking time with your class and incorporate these topics in to PSHE lessons.  Give pupils opportunities to ask questions or share worries.  It’s also a good idea to have a place (e.g. a small box in classroom) where pupils can leave notes and questions if they would rather not share their concerns with the class

  • Reflection and revision

It’s very easy to wind down a little too much in the last few weeks and set pointless tick the box tasks. Instead, make the most of the time you have to reflect on the year. Revise those topics that pupils struggled with. This will actually save you time because you can tweak old planning but be far more constructive than just setting tasks to keep pupils busy. Some reflection time will also help improve your practice next year.

  • Be inclusive

Consider those pupils who won’t be jetting off on holiday or going on day trips to parks and the seaside. Don’t assume that all your pupils are excited about the holidays and have lots of plans. If pupils tell you what they are doing, great, then you can ask about it.  If they ask you what you are up to, great, then tell them. Just avoid asking your pupils their plans without any prior knowledge, as it is not nice for the pupil who doesn’t want the class to know that they will be spending most of the holiday in their room alone.

  • Leave gaps

Try not to completely fill your timetable each day. Leave some room, so there is time to talk about change and transition, time to revise topics pupils are unsure of or just so you aren’t so squeezed for time when a last-minute event comes up. Leaving gaps is also helpful because of my next point about taking breaks.

  • Take breaks

When it is hot your class cannot concentrate for as long as usual and neither can you. Build in breaks to help with this. These stopping points could be as simple as giving your pupils a few minutes to calmly sit and drink water . Break up the time a bit to get better results from your pupils and you.

  • Be sun safe

Granted we can’t put sun cream on our pupils, but we can remind parents to do so. We can also remind our pupils to wear sun hats, drink water and spend some time in the shade. Model good sun safety by keeping on top of your own water intake, spending some time in the shade if you’re on break duty etc.  Ensure your pupils (and you!) have access to drinking water at all times.

  • Have a Plan B

Have some different activities up your sleeve for when pupils need a change. If Mathematics is leaving them too frazzled, why not do your Art this morning and come back to Mathematics in the afternoon? Maybe you could take a break from writing stories by practicing lines for a school production. Being flexible over the summer term will really help with the end of term stress that can occur when pupils aren’t able to or don’t want to give their best.

  • Make time for parents

Not only can your pupils be anxious about change but parents can too, especially if their child is moving to a new school. Try to find time at the start and the end of the day to chat with parents so they have the opportunity to talk to you about their concerns.

  • Make your assessment evidence work for you

With data deadlines looming consider how to make your evidence work for you. If you can get one piece to demonstrate many skills, even better, as that’s less for you to gather. Use technology to support you where possible to save time. Ask for advice from other teachers as they may have a good method that can help you.

  • Peer support

Where possible involve pupils from the year above as part of transition. This could be something like inviting year three pupils from your local junior school to read with your year two pupils, year one pupils could make a video for EYFS pupils about what it is like to be in year one, or you could plan a joint sporting event or such like with a local secondary school to support your year six pupils. Opportunities to see what older peers experience firsthand and to talk to them about their experiences is a really great way for pupils to feel more prepared for their transition.

  • Have fun

I don’t mean abandon all learning. Just keep the learning and experiences fun and exciting where possible. Once July comes around, it will fly by so make the most of the time you have left.